Living Things

One of the neat things about having an office is that the offices in my company have at least one plant in each of them. When I had a cubicle, a plant sat atop the filing cabinet outside of my cubicle, so I hardly ever paid attention to it. A plant service provides care and maintenance for all the company plants, and the one lady who usually comes around to water and check our plants is really cool and very personable. She knows and addresses everybody by name, a gesture I find very considerate.

This afternoon was the first time she came to water the plants while I was in my new office. In fact, I was just returning to my office from the kitchen when she was watering the plant in my office. So I said, "Thank you." She grinned. Then she shook her head and remarked, "All the times I've come here, that's the first time I've ever heard someone say, 'Thank you.'" All I could say was, "No!" in disbelief as she went on to the next office. I've been there over five years now, and I remember meeting her early on. It's not as if people don't like her, so that just blew my mind.

Now, maybe it's that people don't consider the plants "their" plants, if they even consider them at all, so they don't really care whether or not the plants get maintained. Or maybe they just think, well, that's her job. But think about it: When you do your job, don't you like being appreciated for it? Don't some people come home from work and wonder why they keep going back to a place they feel doesn't appreciate them? So it has to mean something, IMO, to show appreciation.

Heck, we've got some people falling over themselves to treat plants better than they treat people (hat tip to Rachel Lucas). Granted, that's an extreme case, but really, I don't understand how some people who would do anything to avoid "killing trees" don't think it's worth their while to bother looking the "hired help" in the eye. If anything, having respect for the smaller living things should lead to an increased respect for bigger ones. You know, like. . . people.


Mr. Bingley said…
You would think. But in fact it seems that the exact opposite is the case: the people who 'care' the most about animals/plants care far less about people.

It sickens me, really.
Sal said…
Well, this is completely apropos, but my d told me about it and I instantly thought of you...

She was filling out the g-daughter's registration for public kindergarten in AZ and among the questions were:
How old were you when this child was born?
How long were you in labor?
Did you do drugs or drink to excess during pregnancy?
Do you live in a car?
Do you live in a tent?
Do you live in a shelter?
Has your child ever been arrested?
Does your child smoke?
What do you like best about your child?
What do you like least about your child?

I told her it would have probably been fine to answer all/most of those with "None of your business", but she's only going to be there til the end of the year, so no waves.
We figure it may have something to do with kids acting up in class, and then they can consult their file and go "Oh- crack whore mom."
or somesuch.

Perhaps if they spent less time being so nosey, they might not be 49th educationally in the nation.
Kate P said…
Bingley--lemme put it this way: I'm all for being responsible and a good steward of creation. . . just not at the expense of people. That's where I draw the line.

Sal--this is the reason my mom keeps asking me, "Are you SURE you want to go into education?" Especially those last two questions. Snotty and creepy at the same time. You're right; they probably are looking for reasons to put them in Special Ed and/or medicate them to the gills. I hope your daughter and your granddaughter manage O.K.

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